18 Jan 2010

Cooks call for Toa fuel farm deal to be probed

1:07 pm on 18 January 2010

The Cook Islands Party is calling for an official inquiry into the failed Toa fuel farm deal.

The failed buy-out has left the government having to pay a settlement of 1.2 million US dollars, which the Prime Minister has said was due to poor management.

The finance secretary is facing a possible suspension and the deputy PM and then finance minister Sir Terepai Maoate, was sacked over the matter before Christmas.

That in turn prompted several ministers to resign.

The Cook Islands Party leader, Henry Puna, says it has sparked political upheaval.

"That was always one of our conditions, that an immediate inquiry be set up to fully investigate all aspects of that deal, especially when it cost the country so much money, that we could ill afford at that time. There's still a great deal of public interest in that issue and it's not going to go away in a hurry either."

Henry Puna says the fallout from the failed Toa deal has also resulted in 19 MPs losing confidence in the PM and cabinet.